Exploring Frugal Engineering

Frugal engineering is a philosophical approach to product design which addresses the needs of customers with very low purchasing power. In essence, it is about designing a product which meets the needs of customers who cannot afford products with “bells and whistles” features. Frugal engineering involves rethinking entire production and maintainance processes. It is not only a challenging mindset to inculcate in young budding engineers, but it is also a rich training ground to foster critical thinking skills which are pertinent to conceptualizing products that maximizes the value to customers. The objectives of this module is to expose students to frugal engineering through a field trip to the rural communities in the region to observe first-hand the way of life in such communities and to develop ideas of products which will bring benefit to a large segment of this community. Students will also engage with industries with a frugal engineering focus.

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